Friday, February 6, 2009
Hand in Hand
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Hand in Hand
The drive wasn't that long, but their destination seemed to run from them.
The miles were quiet with reflection and "what-ifs", but the blanketing silence didn't cover up the love they had for each other.
As she pulled into the right hand lane to exit, she instinctively grabbed his hand and gave him a little squeeze.
The small gesture was a thousand sentences rolled into a gentle touch....
"I love you more than you know."
"I am here for you."
"I won't leave you."
"You will make it through this."
"We will be strong together."
"I am praying for you."
and on and on.....
All the strength she could muster lingered with the soft brush of her fingertips.
Subconsciously they both tensed as she pulled into the parking lot.
There it was. The place neither thought they would ever be. The neon letters screaming at them, "YOU HAVE CANCER!"
Hand in hand they walked through the automatic doors. Side by side they stood at the receptionist desk filling out paper work.
"I'm sorry ma'am. I can't let you go back while the chemo is being administered. We will let you know how he is doing throughout the process."
She watched him go through the swinging door, watched him walk down the hallway behind the nurse, until he turned left to another door.
A quick glance around the room released the pent up emotions she had held at bay for the last 3 weeks. The frail bodies, the greying skin, the smooth heads.... all spoke the ominous words of sickness and death.
Quickly she gathered her things before she made a scene. She fumbled with the car keys and quickly closed the door behind her. Before the door even clicked shut, tears were streaming down her face and the sobs from her stomach were surfacing.
"No! No! No! This can't be!!!! God, Why?!"
Sob after sob, tear after tear. She cried until her energy was spent.
She had been so brave for her family- for her husband who needed her strength, for her little girl who needed her calm, for her older daughter who needed her wisdom......
Now, alone in the cold, quiet vehicle, she was just herself.
"God, just give me the strength to be what he needs me to be. Give me the strength to hold up and not fall apart. Give me the strength to trust You with everything. And please, God please, do a miracle in his life!"
Seconds turned into minutes.
Minutes turned into hours.
When there was nothing left, it was time.
Time to reapply her makeup and be brave and strong just like last week, just like last night, just like this morning.
She grabbed her purse and keys and walked back through the automatic doors.
The CARTI sign was looming overhead.
There was a home decorating magazine laying on the table. She picked it up and thumbed through the pages, looking, but not seeing.
A few minutes later she heard his voice and looked up with a pleasant smile. Within seconds she was back at his side- holding his hand.
She gave him a little squeeze of the hand.
Hand in hand they walked out the doors and back to the car.
Their home wasn't too far, but it seemed to run from them.